tv PBS News Hour PBS February 19, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
>> you are linked to the violent captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: evidence suggests that since 2006 a secretive chinese military unit has hacked the computer systems of more than one hundred u.s. corporations and organizations. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we assess the damage done by the cyber attacks, and explore the motivations behind what appear to be china's systematic targeting of foreign firms and governments. >> woodruff: then, we turn to today's arguments at the supreme court over a patent case with implications for biotechnology giant monsanto, and a range of fields from medical research to computer software. >> ifill: we continue our
weeklong focus on guns, "after newtown." tonight jeffrey brown reports on the possible links, if any, between violent video games and violent behavior. >> the result clearly shows that playing a violent video game increases aggressive behavior. >> one of the problems in this field is that people confuse aggression and violence. >> woodruff: and margaret warner gets an update on the oscar pistorius murder trial in south africa, as the prosecution and the defense lay out conflicting accounts of the events leading to his girlfriend's death. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy, productive life. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a u.s. security firm charged today there's an all-out effort to break into computer systems in the u.s. and elsewhere. the report laid out an extensive case against china and its military.
the newest allegations of cyber attacks by the chinese government came up at the white house today. reporters asked spokesman jay carney about a study that blames china's military for a large-scale years-long hacking campaign. >> we have repeatedly raised our concerns at the highest levels about cyber attacks with senior chinese officials, including in the military, and we will continue to do so. >> woodruff: the report alleges this nondescript 12-story office building is the locus of the hacking. it's situated in shanghai and is run by unit 61398, a bureau within the general staff of the people's liberation army. a virginia-based security firm, man yant corporation, traced the hacking there and concluded it is one of the most prolific cyber espionage groups in terms of the here is quantity of information stolen.
man yant said the chinese stole reams of information from u.s. military contractors, energy companies, the aerospace and telecommunications industry and others. in beijing, a chinese government spokesman called the report "groundless" without addressing the specific findings. >> ( translated ): china firmly opposes hacking, has implemented relevant laws and regulations and adopted strict enforcement measures to prevent hacking activities. china is also a victim of internet hacking attacks. we have stressed many times that hacking attacks are transnational and anonymous. determining their origins is extremely difficult. we don't know how the in evidence this so-called report can be tenable. >> woodruff: still, the mandiant findings are the most detailed accusations yet against china over hacking. more generally, a u.s. national intelligence estimate said this month that china is tearing out
a major cyber espionage campaign against american targets and apple said today it was hacked by the same group that attacked facebook last week. both companies said no data was compromised and both traced the attacks back to china. the report note the report noted there have been more than 140 different victims since 2006, and that the chinese unit maintained access to those networks for nearly a year on average. for more on this, we turn to: richard bejtlich, the chief security officer for mandiant, the firm that issued the report. and christopher johnson, a senior adviser who closely watches china at the center for strategic and international studies. >> we welcome you both the the program. let me start with you richard bej litsch, what did this study uncover that wasn't known earlier? >> the study found evidence that linked it to a chinese military
unit. prior to this report anything coming from security or the government would indicate chinese hackers and you could think of patriotic hackers, people working in the underground, there was never a direct link. we found we could not only tie this to an a unit but their headquarters. >> woodruff: and what did you find is going on inside this building? >> if you were to walk inside this building you would likely to see thousands of computers, you would see teams of individuals working on maintaining access to and stealing information from western companies. they do this as their job. this is a directed activity, this is not for recreational purposes. it's been going on for this group for the last sevenears. >> woodruff: you said it was one of the most prolific operations of its kind. how do you measure something like that? >> several ways.
we measure two dozen of these a.t.b. groups and these groups have different characteristics. sometimes we measure them by the number of industries they go after. sometimes we measure by the amount of data we see them take. in the case of a.p.t.-1, the focus of today's report,er in 20 different industries, 141 different companies stealing terabytes of data. >> woodruff: terabyte being a lot of -- >> a lot of data, yes, that's why we consider them prolific. >> woodruff: we want to say to our audience that we did attempt to talk to chinese government spokesman to ask them to provide a guest to appear on the program and we were not able to get an answer. we will continue to do that. but as i turn to you, christopher johnson, and we should say as we just heard in the report, the chinese are saying all this the grouless, nothing to it. but how does what mandiant found in this report square with
everything else you've seen? >> well, i think what's exciting about the report is what we just heard which is that this idea for the first time we're seeing a critical role of the chinese military in this process. it will also be increasingly difficult given the study's firm methodology for the chinese to continue to issue these denials that such tse such information is groundless and that there's no evidence. there's substantial evidence. >> woodruff: what's the hard evidence as you see it? >> the way i see it, what's unique about the report is, again, tracking this activity to a very narrow set of actors and just a number of opportunities in which these same actors were engaging in this kind of activity and the abundant evidence of what they were able to take through their cyber activities. >> woodruff: what ties it to the military? >> it's this military designation that we've seen and all the p.l.a. units, the chinese military units, have these designateors so the fact that that's in the report is very compelling. >> woodruff: it's interesting this there's this sort of name tag, identity to what they're
doing. >> the chinese military uses these five-digit codes to refer to individual units. and they don't necessarily tie them directly to the third department second bureau of the p.l.a.. so we were able to unearth documents doing open source research, all of this is unclassified that showed, for example, a letter from china telecom to set up a circuit, in other words to get internet access into this new headquarters building when it was constructed in 2007. and it said "we need to put a circuit in for 61398. we f you don'tnow h important they are, they're the third department second bureau of the p.l.a.." so they outed themselves. so by finding those ties we were able to senter what's going on here. >> woodruff: what does this tell you about what they're looking for? what do they want in all of this searching? >> we know exactly what they're looking for. this particular unit, we've seen them take financial plans, product developments, user names passwords, e-mail.
they're trying to find out what these companies have, what they can use in their own sorts of products. they're trying to use them in negotiations. it's very interestinghe source of information they take. >> reporter: principally, christopher johnson, economics, financial driven rather than security or military? >> well, that's what's so --. >> woodruff: in the classic sense. >> that's what's so interesting about the report. you have to chinese military conducting espionage. there's also been a view that in national security's names probing defense networks that what you would expect an opposition military to be doing. but in this case it's economic espionage which is quite interesting. >> woodruff: do we have a sense of how much damage has been done by this. >> the report highlights singh that significant damage has been done as richard pointed o. terabytes of data. >> woodruff: adding up to what? what does that cost the companies? the organizations that have been hacked into? >> it's a difficult question to answer. when a military encountered this same problem, they had to stand up a separate unit just for the purposes of saying this is the
information that was stolen, what is the value, do we have to change the defense contract? do we have to reengineer a plane? what do we have to do? that's the thinking we need to get the private sector engaged in. >> woodruff: that's what i want to finally ask both of you about. what can be done about this? is it clear what can be done? >> i don't think it's particularly clear. but basic steps such as increasing computer hygiene among employees with companies, for example, being more mindful of these phishing attacks. one thing that is striking about the report is that in almost all instance it started off as a spear fishing attack e-mails. in terms of what the obama administration can do, i think this gives us the opportunity and significant leverage with the chinese to increase the amnt of transparency and debate on cyber and espeal to inease the dialogue with the people at the center. >> woodruff: is it the sort of thing a company or individual can say sign up for security software and prevent? >> i wouldn't worry necessarily as an individual but as a
company i would download the report, i would take it to my i.t. or security staff and say what are we doing about the issues in this report? and then at the higher level, at the strategic level, i would swhal is my government doing about this? what is the position that we're going to take with the chinese. the they now have a hold they can use in discussion with our llie the chinese government that is not classified, it's unclassified. >> woodruff: very quickly, are we talking about legislation or somethat that can be done by executives? >> well, many support the legislation that chairman rogers who has put forth and for anyone who has privacy reports look at the report, you won't see identifiable information in that report. this can be shared amongst companies and help protect us all. >> woodruff: it raises a lot of question. we thank you both for being here. richard bejtlich, christopher johnson, thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, an indiana farmer
takes on agribusiness giant monsanto; video games and violent behavior; and the blade runner's murder trial. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: armed robbers made off with a huge haul of diamonds in a daring heist overnight in belgium. no shots were fired during the raid and no one was hurt. but authorities are releasing few details i spoke earlier with robert jan bartunek of thomson reuters in brussels, via google hangout. >> what we're seeing is that yesterday evening he local time around 7:45, eight armed robbers armed with machine guns drove on to the tarmac at brussels airport and stole $50 million worth of diamonds from an airplane that was about to stop. >> sreenivasan: this almost seems like a hollywood script. how long did this heist take? >> it only took three minutes so it must have been a very professional hit. no doubt about that. and prosecutors know they have to be very well prepared to do that.
they basically opened a fence, they cut through the fence, they drove on to the tarmac where the diamonds were about to be loaded on to the plane and they at gunpoint demanded those diamonds and they drove off again not to be seen. >> sreenivasan: do the authorities have any leads? >> not at the moment. prosecutors are not saying anything. >> sreenivasan: put this in perspective. how many millions of dollars worth of diamonds are going out of this airplane? >> through the city of antwerp, which is the main diamon cartier in belgium, we have eight in every ten uncut diamond and five in every ten uncut diamonds. it's worth billions. >> sreenivasan: thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> sreenivasan: the civilian death toll in afghanistan has dropped for the first time in six years. a new report today from the
united nations said more than 2,700 civilians died last year. that was down from more than 3,100 the previous year. still, violence claimed the lives of more women and girls, up 20% from 2011. the new data came a day after president hamid karzai banned afghan troops from calling in air strikes in residential areas. the former top u.s. commander in afghanistan is going to retire, instead of becoming the overall nato commander in europe. president obama announced today that marine general john allen will end his military career. allen's nomination for the nato post was put on hold last fall, amid questions about e-mail exchanges with a woman in florida. the general was cleared of all wrongdoing, but he said today he needs to focus on his wife's health problems. the president stepped up his attack on republicans today in the face of a looming deficit deadline. the so-called "sequester," $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, is set to take effect less than two weeks from now, on march 1. the president charged republicans' unwillingness to raise taxes is preventing a deal, and, he said, hundreds of thousands of public employees could be out of work, if the sequester takes place.
>> this is not an expression: people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might tick up again. that's why democrats, business leaders and economists, they've already said that these cuts-- known here in washington as sequestration-- are a bad idea. they're not good for our economy they're not how we should run our government. >> sreenivasan: republicans have said they already raised taxes on the wealthy at the start of the year, so the focus now must be on spending cuts. in a statement, house speaker john boehner said, "the revenue debate is now closed." a federal judge in new orleans has approved a civil settlement for the company that owned the oil rig in the 2010 gulf oil disaster. transocean agreed to pay $1 billion in civil penalties. it had already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and will pay an additional $400 million in criminal penalties. the "deepwater horizon" rig exploded off the gulf coast in april 2010.
the blast killed 11 workers and triggered the nation's worst offshore oil spill. wall street moved higher after taking monday off. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 54 points to close at 14,035. the nasdaq rose 21 points to close at 3213. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: now we have two looks at a case gued before the supreme court today that could have wir implications in the world of patents and technology. nch 1996, monsanto came up with a formula to develop herbicide resistant soybeans, able to survive being sprayed with the company's popular weed killer roundup. the resulting roundup-ready seeds-- seen here in promotional videos-- were more costly but they would dramatically increase crop production. >> what we've observed this year is outstanding yield potential. >> reporter: but the seeds are patent protected and monsanto prohibits farmers from saving or reusing them. in instead, they must buy new
seeds each year. in 1999, indiana farmerer have von bowman bought soybeans intended for animal feed from a small grain elevator, but instead of using them as feed he replanted them. monsanto sued and the dispute has now made its way to the supreme court. bowman, speaking to reporters on the steps of the court today, said he still believes he did nothing wrong. >> i didn't look at it as a loophole because i'd always been able to go to the elevator and buy the seed, you follow me? so i just looked at it that when they dumped it in there that they had abandoned their patent. if they want to protect their patent then looks to me like it would be -- they'd be record to have to separate it at the elevator and keep it separate. >> reporter:. >> ifill: bowman also argues that monsanto, an agribusiness giant, is trying to bully small farmers. but the company says it spent 13
years developing roundup-ready seeds and it must defend its patents. so far, monsanto has won in lower courts and the obama administration filed a supreme court brief supporting the company. it argues the case has implications for patent rights, extending far beyond soybeans to include medical research, computer software, and a host of other self-replicating technologies. the >> ifill: the monsanto case reached its final stop at the supreme court today, where justices listened to the pros and cons. marcia coyle of the "national law journal," as always, was in the courtroo he joins us now. marcia, you can look at this and think "david v. goliath" individual farmer versus big agribusiness but it's more complicated than that. >> much more complicated than that, gwen. if a patent holder authorizes a sale of a patented article or invention, after that first sale the patent holder's rights in that invention or article or product are what we call
exhausted. and the purchaser can do whatever he wants with it. if i buy a sony t.v. or a sony computer i can sell it to somebody else, i can put it out on my front yard. but what the law also says is what i can't do is i cannot make a copy of the patented invention. and during the arguments today, the justices were focused on just where these seeds that are self-replicating after they're planted, where they fit under that law. >> ifill: so the judges were focusing on what piece of this in the questioning? >> mr. bowman's lyer was arguing first that farming is using seeds not making seed. so the farmers were not making copies of monsanto's seed here. he says that the rule of the first sale of a patented invention should apply to this
process because these seeds are designed to grow and replicate themselves. there was nothing exceptional about it. monsanto argues that -- he's also arguing that monsanto wants an exception to the ru of the first sale of the seeds. and this is something he said that congress should decide, not the supreme court. but he immediately ran into skeptical questioning. chief justice roberts, for example, right away said to him what incentive in the world would sflib to spend years and millions of dollars improving a seed if, after the first sale, anybody can take the seed and make copies of it. and also other justices questioned what incentive tre was for a company to do this if that -- if result that mr. bowman is arguing for were to prevail. the united states was in the arguments as well and they're
supporting monsanto and the attorney for the united states said well, what would happen if monsanto loses is that research dollars will go elsewhere. >> ifill: so in order for more to get to the supreme court obviously monsanto had to have been the last one standing, the last one winning. so were the justices sympathetic with what the lower court had to say in this and w t same reasoning that brought this to this point. >> the justices were sympathetic to monsanto's argument and seemed to feel that the lower federal court here did have the right approach some justices did see some concerns with monsanto's argument. justice scalia said, well, you know, it is a harsh result that research dollars will go elsewhere but here's another harsh result: farmers won't buy grain, seeds, from grain elevators for second planting for fear that in those undifferentiated seeds there are some patented seeds, they will
be sued for infringement and in the case of mr. bowman damages are hefty in situations like that. justice kagan raised a concern, too. she said "seeds drift, they scattered." so it could be some of monsanto's patented seeds could go on to the land of an unwitting farmer and suddenly that unwitting farmer is a patent infringer. >> ifill: so even though they're talking about seeds, thi is about lager issues including what you're describing as the replicateability of a patent. >> that's right. it was clear in the arguments that -- in the justices' comments that they knew they were dealing with a new technology here and this case is going to have ramifications or other replicated technologies like software that's very easily replicated and that's why you saw groups filing amicus briefs in the case, groups like the software industry and biotechnology industry as well as the agricultural industry.
on the other sde, for mr. wmanthe farmer, consumer and food safety groups are concerned about almost the monopoly power that monsanto has her and how it's pervasive influence in the market for soybeans is increasing prices for farmers. >> ifill: this is not the only court the supreme court will take up this term that have to do with patents. >> you're right. in fact, in april they're going to hear a fascinating case that very simply asks whether human beings can beatented. this grows ouof a dsputever a company's patenting of a gene process that shows the breast cancer and ovarian cancer gene mutation. >> ifill: about so much more than just farming and seeds. >> absolutely. >> ifill: marcia coyle, thanks as always. ray suarez picks up on some of the broader implications of the case. >> suarez: we turn to two people who followed the case closely.
bert foer is the president of the american antitrust institute, which filed a brief in favor of mr. bowman. and todd dickinson is executive director of the american intellectual property law association. his group filed a brief on behalf of monsanto. gentlemen, i'd like to hear from both of you to start from your various perspectives. what was at stake in today's arguments, for business and consumers. todd dickinson? >> this case could have significant ramification, this case and the myriad case that was eluded to in the runup. in some ways, intellectual property rights are a bit of a whipping boy these days and the need for strong intellectual property rights, strong patent rights is embedded in our constitution. there's a reason for that. that's because they lead to economic growth and development, they reward an incent innovation and they nurture that innovation by protecting it. >> suarez: bert foer? >> todd is right that intellectual property is very important part of our economy.
on the other hand, there's a lot of questions that have been raised in recent years about whether it is working well and whether it is creating too many monopolies, whether we have a good grasp on system and can balance the different values that are also in our system or whether intellectual property should have something of an absolute nature to it which is the direction that we've been moving in. it's kind of a scary direction. >> suarez: why would being able to protect your invention being b anti-competitive. aren't other agricultural companies free to develop a competitor to monsanto's soybean seat? >> well, you should be able to protect an invention. the question is how far? whach is the scope? that's what the court is being asked to talk about.
what is the use in this case? what is making? what is the difference? and when we get to self-replicating technologies-- whatever that ends up meaning, it could mean a lot of things in the future, but the question is where to draw the line. and there is a doctrine which is what was being argued about today called first sale or exhaustion which meansthat some point in time the rights of the owner, the patentee, come to an end and we move on. >> suarez: i mentioned that you both are from organizations that filed amicus briefs. todd dickinson, why there are so many in this case from fields that have nothing to do with agricultures? >> well, as you suggested before because the implications for this go far beyond this particular case. there are other self-replicating technologies out there which would apply rectly to t. i think the broer implications to the biotechnology industry in
particular are very significant in this. another federal judge recently another case said we have the broadest and strongest protection for biotechnology and intellectual not the world and we have the strongest biotechnology industry in the world. europe, by contrast, has weaker protection and a weaker industry. i think that's a very compelling argument. >> suarez: before you talked about exhaustion. can a company control what happens to a self-replicating product? aone -- a gene, an organism, a plant, aspects of software or a musical recording, once the cust walks out the door having purchased this thing? >> well, that's the question. how far does that control go? because both competition policy, which is antitrust, and by lech which you will property are both have as an objective fostering innovation in the economy.
the question is how much of this incentive do you need in the form of monopoly and how much in the form of firms competing with each other to build that better track. >> suarez: when does that run out? ever? >> let me give you an analogy in the copyright record. you have a right to buy a record you have to right to sell it or give it away to your friend and neighbor. you don't have the right to make a million copies of it online and distribute them. i think that's something to what you said here. here the farmer had the right to use that product for whatever you want. justice breyer said today "could i make tofu turkey out of it?" of course you can. use you can use it as feed. there are many, many cases you can make of that. >> you just can't let it grow into a soybean. >> no, you can't make the copy and sell the copy for the purpose that was coined in the patent.
>> well, that's what's at stake here. is a soybean seed like a photograph record? if anybody can still play a phonograph record. >> i don't know. legally it seems to me if i were writing the laws i would put some limitations on the types of conditions that can be placed on an initial sale and i would say after the initial sale you're subject to any contracts licensing contracts and those can be reviewed by courts under such laws as the antitrust laws and we can get some sort of a balance of the public interest. whereas if you say that it's only subject to patent infringe you're putting all the cards with the patentee and very few with the consumers or the other parties in the economy who are going to be affected.
the result of an extreme interpretation, who knows what we might get out of this in this decision, but the results of something extreme could be the guarantee of a very major long-term monopoly in food production. >> suarez: in the short time we have left, this world has charged ahead and i'm wondering if the law has kept up with it. can the law keep up with biotech big pharma, software, in 2013? >> that's an excellent question. last year for example, the congress in the first time in 60 years revised the u.s. patent law and part of the rationale for why they did that was because of the need to keep up with changes in technology. however, our patent law has almost always done that. there's always the next big thing, always the cutting edge technology, there's the telephone, the automobile, or the personal computer the patent law in the united states has by and large kept up with that and
continues to. >> suarez: bert foer? >> and we are more and more dependent on high technologies that are highly patent sod we're seeing these clashes between antitrust and intellectual property which have in common, as i said, an interest in innovation but two different ways to get there. and more and more we're seeing clashes. aouple of other cases in front of the court, there are a lot of issues right now involving things like standard essential patents. commitments to making nondiscriminatory licensing. something newton scene called patent assertion entities and we've got a lot of problems here that need to be worked out in order to answer your question whether the law is keeping up. >> suarez: bert foer, todd dickinson, thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruf and we turn to our series on the national conversation surrounding guns,
violence, and mental health in the wake of the connecticut shootings. public officials and other critics have raised concerns about the role of media and culture, particularly violent video games. jeffrey brown explores some of those questions in this report, all part of the weeklong pbs effort: "after newtown." a note: the story contains graphic violence. >> you can just cycle through your weapons and continue going around killing people. >> brown: like tens of millions of young americans, ian binnie plays video games, including the wildly popular "grand theft auto." but on this day, he was mowing down passersby, shooting police officers, and taking close aim at a food vendor, as part of a controlled experiment at ohio state university, where binnie is a sophomore. after 15 minutes of intense action, he was asked to answer questions; to choose from 34
adjectives, including "mean," "nervous," "scared," "strong," to describe his feelings; and even decide how much chili powder to pour into the drink of a would-be opponent-- all designed to measure any effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior. there have been reports that the newtown killer adam lanza spent hours playing games such as "world of warcraft," but nothing so far links that to the rampage that left 20 children dead. still, as the nation searches for answers, violent media are again under scrutiny. psychology professor brad bushman, a leadg scholar in the field for several decades and the man behind the ohio state research, says the effects are clearly measurable, and more so with the direct "you pull the trigger" nature of newer 3-d games. >> you are linked to the violent character. if it's a first-person shooter game, you have the same visual perspective as the killer.
you get points when you kill people. if you kill enough people, you get to advance to the next level of the game. you are also rewarded through things that you ght hear. if you kill somebody,aybe you hear, "impressive, nice shot!" you hear this praise, and we know that reinforcement increases the probability of behavior. how far is bushman willing to go in terms of the predictive nature of his research? >> the results clearly showed that playing a violent video game increases aggressive behavior, and also makes people numb to the pain and suffering of others. there is a link between exposure to violent media and violent criminal behavior. we can't do experimental studies, so it's just a correlation. and you know, "correlation" doesn't imply "causation," but they're related. >> brown: no experimental studies, he means, with real weapons out in the world. and this, of course, is where things get tricky, defining
"correlations," "factors," "causes."a):'e÷ we asked to speak with several video game companies and their trade group, the entertainment software association, and were turned down. the e.s.a. recommended we talk to cheryl olson, a public health expert who co-founded the harvard medical school's center for mental health and media, now a consultant. >> one of the problems in this field is that people confuse aggression and violence. and some research will call sort of a competitiveness type aggression as an equivalent to violence in the real world. there is absolutely no evidence that any video game or violent movie for that matter has ever caused a real world act. >> brown: she met with vice president biden and his task force recently. >> playing violent games is a normative behavior for teenagers today-- especially boys, but for a lot of girls it's true. >> brown: it's just part of their life. >> it's true that the newtown, connecticut, shooter apparently played violent video games. but the local kids on your soccer team, 13-year-old boys who live down the street from you, they're all playing these violent games, too, and they are probably okay.
>> brown: indeed, it's not hard to find young high schoolers, as we did in northern virginia, who play the games and seem to be well-adjusted and thoughtful. >> if i'm playing "call of duty," i don't, like, notice how violent it is. >> i don't think about, hey, i'm actually shooting this guy. i don't get upset because they are actually shooting me. i get upset because i'm not... it's more of a competition thing, i feel like. >> brown: ian, what do you think? what's your experience? >> i definitely notice the action, like the violence and stuff, and, you know, it definitely resonates within me. but i always try to kind of like separate that whole video game violence, you know, from, like, real violence. >> at least from what i've seen, video games tend to be a release. it's where the person takes the frustration or the anger that they felt in their own life and they channel it into. >> i don't really notice aside from, like, really violent video games. like, "gears of war" was one of them. it's just really bloody, like extremely violent.
even my brother and i, when we played for the first time at my cousin's house, were like, is everyone wearing ketchup packs on themselves? because there is so much blood. >> brown: that one you really noticed. >> yeah, oh, yeah. that one, it's pretty rough. >> brown: and you noticed, but did you keep playing, or did you... >> we played the whole series. >> there, i chopped that guy's head off. >> brown: eww. >> yes, strong stuff. >> brown: i tried my hand at "call of duty: black ops two," joined by stephen totilo, editor of the gaming b site kotaku, whi covs the $60 billion industry and reviews new games. >> i think one thing that people don't understand that well about video games is what it feels like to play them. i encourage anybody who criticizes violent video games to try one. and i don't think because, oh, it's going to convert you and you are going to love it and you are going to want to play it. but the experience of playing it is very different than that of watching it. >> brown: playing, says totilo, is about the challenge and the competition.
it's often a social activity, play with friends or online against any number of other gamers around the world. he also insists it's a perfectly valid entertainment form, even if it's not as well understood or respected as, say, tv and movies. >> it's a creative form. i mean, one of the issues with violent video games and video games in general is that the creators have a very low profile. it's telling that you are talking to a reporter who covers video games for a living. you're not talking to the person who made "call of duty," you are not talking to who made "grand theft auto." they don't speak. i've met the people who make these games, and they are fathers and mothers. they are people who work out at my gym in brooklyn. >> brown: jim steyer would agree there's not enough talking, but he's come to a very different conclusion about violent video games. >> no one is suggesting that that's the only reason they went out and committed those horrific acts, but was it a tipping point? was it something that pushed them over the edge? was it a factor in that? perhaps.
that's a really big deal. >> brown: steyer is founder and c.e.o. of common sense media, which focuses on media consumption by children. and his concern goes beyond the daily headlines. >> when we speak about a culture of violence in our society, we're not just talking about the mass killers, the newtowns. we're also talking about that we, as a society, and many of us as individuals accept violence as part of life because we've become numb to it, being so exposed to it in various forms of media. >> brown: an earlier outcry against video games-- including their portrayal of assaults on women-- led the industry to introduce a ratings system in the 1990's, one that's more detailed and explicit than those for movies or records. but steyer say it's not enough. his group developed its own system to help parents, and he wants the industry to stop marketing violent games in tv ads during certain times of day. he also thinks some government regulations are called for.
>> i'm a big believer in free speech. common sense's motto is "sanity not censorship." but i'm over the age of 18, and we can handle that, and you can, too. but i don't want that game marketed to an 11-year-old or a 12-year-old, and that's what's happened. and so there are extraordinary changes that should happen, first voluntarily by the industry, and second, that kind of marketing and sales practices can be regulated by the federal trade commission. >> brown: so vis-a-vis the industry, it's a kind of almost public shaming that you'd like to see? >> i'm in favor of public shaming. >> brown: but going further may be difficult. the industry has a lot of clout in washington, and it also has an important legal precedent on its side. a california law banning the sale of violent games to minors was struck down by the supreme court in 2011 on first amendment grounds. antonin scalia's majority opinion said studies of a link between the games and violent behavior were inconclusive. and, as marcia coyle told the
newshour audience that night... >> he said that there was no long history or tradition in this country of prescribing minors' access to violent content. and he gave, as an example, "grimm's fairy tales," which he said were grim indeed. and he said, for example, "cinderella's" three evil step- sisters had their eyes plucked out by doves; hansel and gretel got rid of their captor by baking her in an oven. >> congress should fund research into the effects that violent video games have on young minds. >> brown: when the president unveiled his gun violence prevention proposals in january, he called on congress to appropriate $10 million for the centers for disease control to study possible links to violent video games and media. and some republicans are also putting a spotlight on the issue. >> where is the artistic value of shooting innocent victs?
>> brown: what happens next in washington is unclear. but back at ohio state, the research continues. one new focus: whether playing with another person influences aggressive responses once the game and the video mayhem have ended. >> ifill: there were new reports today about newtown shooter adam lanza. law enforcement officials told the "hartford courant" they are investigating lanza's interest in a deadly attack in norway in 2011, and whether the shootings at sandyook elemtary may have been insped by that massacre. anders behring breivik was convicted of using guns and explosives to murder 77 people in the summer of 2011. reporters at the "courant" also worked with "frontline" on tonight's program, "raising adam lanza." here's an excerpt featuring the two reporters and an old friend of the family. it includes some new information about lanza's attachment to video games.
>> the "courant" has learned that investigators have speculated privately that adam may have carried out the shooting consistent in a man we are video gaming, changing his weapons magazine frequently even though it was not empty. federal agents have told reporters that nancy and adam visited shooting ranges together as recently as several months ago. >> she was doing a lot of work on her house. we talked to a contractor who spoke about nancy taking the boys to the range. she excitedly showed him a rifle she had acquired in a case, a beautifully crafted piece, they said she was very enthusiastic about it. >> reporter: starting in 2010, she purchased guns that adam would use at sandy hook elementary school, including the bash master assault rifle. but guns were nothing new for nancy lanza. >> nancy knew how to use guns. her father trained her on 35 acres,. i have a sand pit, 35 acres, i have rifles and we'd shoot
together. in fact, one of the activities at the cub overnight weekends was shooting 22s at a rifle range. i think that was the first exposure the kids haded to a firearm. ahey thought it's fun, you know? target shooting is fun. >> you had them shoot? >> they all did. and adam aspired to be like his uncle. >> really? >> yeah. he was the nch the military, she was very proud of that and she allowed him to believe that, yeah, you're going to be like your uncle. and depending on how he turned out, sometimes people can overcome that with, i don't know medication, counseling, whatever. they can, they can and do and i think maybe she was hoping for that. and then one day she realized probably not too long ago there's no way this kid can do this. it's not for him. and when she realized that i think she started to discourage him. >> woodruff: "frontline" airs at 10:00 p.m. eastern time tonight on most pbs stations.
also tonight on pbs, "guns in america" explores the country's enduring relationship with firearms, beginning with the first european settlers to present day. check your local listings. and on our web site, we examine the gun depicted in art, from movies like "dirty harry" to paintings and photographs. find a narrated slideshow on art beat. >> ifill: we return now to south africa, where double amputee olympian oscar pistorius appeared in court today, and the family of girlfriend reeva steenkamp gathered for her funeral. >> reporter: his father, as he listened to the charges against him that he shot his girlfriend dead in an act of preditated murder he sobbed. exactly what happened in his high security gated home late on the night of st. valentine last
week did oscar pistorius kill his girlfriend reeva steenkamp? yes, his lawyer would concede. but he argued that was mistake. the explanation came by way of a prepared statement read to the court by his lawyer. pistorius claims the couple were deeply in love and went to sleep shortly after 10:00. he woke later to retrieve a fan from the balcony and heard what he thought was an intruder in the bathroom. the world's most famous disabled athlete, walking around in the dead of night only on his stumps it made him, he said, feel vulnerable. allegedly he had this gun by his bed. in the dark, he picked it up and then this. i felt a sense of terror rushing over me. although i do not have my prosthetic legs on i have mobility on my stumps. if i had shot through the toilet door and shouted to reeva to call the police. only then claims oscar pistorius did it dawn on him that reeva
was not next to him and the noise that spooked him was her. he said he then put on his prosthetic legs, bashed down the door with a cricket bat to find her breathing her last. reeva was slumped over but alive. she died in my arms. i am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved reeva. reeva steenkamp, yes cremated this afternoon in a ceremony open only to close family and friends. it was desperately sad. >> (inaudible). >> reporter: how on toert put into words the loss of a daughter, a niece, or a sister? and the prosecution team boiling the case down to this. the couple, they claim, had an argument. for some reason pistorius put on his legs, walked to the bathroom
and shot through the door. whether he thought it was actuallhis girlfriend, reeva eenkamp or, indeed, a burglar. >> if i arm myself, walk a distance and murder a person, that is premeditated. the door is closed, there is no doubt. i walk seven meters and i kill. the motive is i want to kill. that's it. >> reporter: the next stage of his bail hearing is tomorrow, but pistorius was returned to the cells tonight knowing he may never taste freedom again. >> ifill: margaret warner picks up the story from there. >> warner: for more on today's hearing and threaction in outh africa, i'm joined by gary alfonso, johannesburg bureau chief for "feature story" news. he's covering the trial. gary, welcome, in your opinion the courtroom today. what was it like? >> it was an absolutely incredible scene in the magistrate court in pretoria. it was overrun by international and local journalists and
hundreds of on lookers and interested people and obviously family members of oscar pistorius mostly. no family members of reeva steenkamp in court today because obviously her funeral was being held in port elizabeth, which is about a one thousand miles from johannesburg in a coastal region. but in court, very swamped, very hot court. only sitting place for about 60 or 70 people and there were about 170 people in that courtroom. so very, very packed, very humid and obviously everybody very intent on listening to exactly what oscar pistorius was saying and social media playing a very big role today and the judge warned -- the magistrate warned that any abuse of any judicial systems will not be tolerated anymore because photographs have been taken during session the day before or earlier when oscar pistorius appeared the first time last week. >> warner: so what was most new or significant in the
alternative versions that the prosecution and defense offered today of what happened that night? >> >> what was most significant was that for the first time reports that were only conjecture at the time and over the weekend in weekend newspapers and the media was that oscar pistorius claimed that he had shot his girlfriend by accident. today in his affidavit it came out that he stated unequivocally that it was an accident, that it was a whole range of issues that accidentally led him to shoot through the bathroom door with his 9 millimeter pistol. the second thing that came is up the state was adamant in pursuing a charge of premeditated murder, a schedule 6 charge in south africa which carries an automatic life sentence without the option of parole. >> warner: it's repord that south africa doesn't have jury trials. why is that? >> well, south africa does not have a jury trial because juries
were abolished in 1969 by the apartheid government and they were done away with because primarily the apartheid system at the time did not want to have opposing views or even independent views coming from out of the judiciary and out of the legal system. now, you understand that during the apartheid era many peop were sentenced to death and ssib the reason why the state wanted full control of all organisms of policing and the jis system was to do away with that system. the jury system is one of the issues still being discussed in south african law. what has changed from the british or common law initiatives of earlier centuries and earlier decades is that today judges have to be assisted by two assessors and those assessors are legal experts that assist judges in concluding their court case.
>> warner: what has been the reaction of the south african public to this case, beyond the immediate amazement about it and oscar pistorius and so on touching on wider questions about south african society. >> i think one of the most important things to come out of this case even in its early days is the issue of of violence against women. it's the issue of guns with society. one of the important issues being addressed at the moment is violence agains won and children. the a.n.c. women's league were seen at the court protesting against oscar pistorius not on the grounds on the killing but this is another extreme case of what they record as violence against women. and highlighting that is an important part of south african society moving forward that's one case. the other case is the gun issue and a very large contingent of
south african society is armed and armed with small arms and some with heavier arms in the cas of oscar pistorius who had several rifles and one semiautomatic rifle. so the issue of gun control and gun licensings being granted perhaps too easily and testing not being done on individuals who end up with rifles outside of the hunting disciplines, that's one of the issues that have come out of this as to who -- in whose hands guns should be. >> warner: gary alfonso, feature story news in johannesburg, thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. a u.s. security firm reported the most extensive evidence yet that china has hacked scores of computer systems in the u.s. and elsewhere in recent years. the u.s. supreme court heard arguments in a patent fight between monsanto and an indiana farmer, with far-reaching implications.
and armed robbers in brussels stole $50 million in diamonds from an airplane cargo hold. online, our employment expert offers tips on getting more from a job offer. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: so you have the offer, but you think you deserve more compensation. on "making sense," writer nick corcodilos outlines some negotiation skills that will help you command a higher salary with a new employer. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll talk to justice sonia sotomayor, and look at the science of violent behavior. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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